people finder - historical
The Confucian literature comes in two main waves. The
first wave was under the Zhou dynasty (c1100 - 256 BCE). Besides Confucius
himself (551-479), the two main figures whose writings have survived were
Mencius (d 289) and Xunzi (d 235). There are significant disagreements
between these two.
The second wave (sometimes known as Neo-Confucianism) was under the
Song dynasty (960 - 1279 CE), and included Zhou Dunyi, Chang Zai, Cheng
Hao, Cheng Yi and Zhu Xi. For reasons of intellectual politics, the Neo-Confucians
preferred Mencius to Xunzi; they elevated Mencius to being second after
Confucius, and all but ignored Xunzi.
Apart from the Confucians, we may also mention the Legalist school,
of which the most illustrious member was probably Han Fei Zi (d 233 BCE).
On this website, I generally use pinyin transliteration for all names
except Confucius and Mencius. (Confucius and Mencius were the only two
Chinese thinkers to be given Latinized names, because they were the ones
translated by the first Jesuit missionaries.) Many books published in the
West still use the older Wade-Giles transliterations in their titles, however,
and I have retained these spellings when referring to such books. This
has led to some discrepancies in spelling.
Quality from Vitruvius to Gates
The Roman architect Vitruvius, who lived at the time of Jesus Christ, defined
quality as commodity, firmness and delight. Bill Gates has quoted
and expanded upon this definition.
||“Be worthy of the user’s time and effort in understanding it”
One of the greatest thinkers of the Islamic world.
|William Chittick, The Sufi Path of Knowledge: Ibn al-Arabi's Metaphysics
State University of New York Press, Albany NY, 1989
|William Chittick is one of the leading modern scholars of the mediaeval
This book is a large and detailed analysis of the writings of Ibn al-Arabi
(whom Chittick calls The Shaykh).
One of the most brilliant mathematicians of his time,
the French monk Gerbert became pope in the year 999, taking the name Sylvester
II. He remained pope until his death in 1003.
Among other things, Gerbert is credited with the invention of the first
modern mechanical clock, as well as
the introduction of Arabic numerals into Western Europe. The Oxford
Dictionary of Popes associates him with the abacus, the terrestial
and celestial globes, and the organ. Islamic historians recognize
him as one of the earliest translators
of scientific knowledge from Arabic into Latin.
Five centuries before Leonardo, six centuries before Galileo, he deserves
an honoured place in the history of ideas. I find it almost incredible
that such a man should also have been elected pope. But fitting,
perhaps, that a mathematician should occupy the Holy See as the new millennium
Thanks to his intellectual links with Islam, some contemporaries saw
him as the Anti-Christ. They saw his election as pope as a confirmation
of the imminent end of the world. Their closed world was indeed to come
to an end, partly as a result of the technologies pioneered by Gerbert,
but this would not occur for several centuries.
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This page last updated on July 25th, 2003
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